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Old 07 March 2019, 12:33   #1
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Advantage of roller bunks vs. solid bunks

Here in the USA, bunks with rollers are very uncommon, especially on the west coast. But every RIB I see that is from Europe, uses roller bunks on their trailers for the RIB's. Why is it so common in Europe and not in the USA?

Please tell me what the advantage is to using roller bunks, over standard planks. I have a Zodiac Pro II 550, if that makes a difference. Thanks in advance
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Old 07 March 2019, 12:49   #2
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Hi,
Ive used both types. for me it's simply that I don't have to detach trailer from the car on shallow slipways to launch or retrieve,just winch it on and off on the rollers. Otherwise with bunks I have all the hassel of attaching trailer to car with rope to get it deep enough to float the boat onto the bunks, and then it doesn't locate centrally very well either.
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Old 07 March 2019, 13:16   #3
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Perhaps as you have more dedicated slipways and less tidal launches? With a roller trailer you can recover off the beach with no water but rollers here are used even for larger trailed boats bunks are cheaper
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Old 07 March 2019, 14:36   #4
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Originally Posted by DiabloLoco View Post
Please tell me what the advantage is to using roller bunks, over standard planks. I have a Zodiac Pro II 550, if that makes a difference. Thanks in advance
IMHO absolutely no advantage worth considering and plenty of disadvantage. I have 2 boats, one on each type of trailer, and the roller trailer is a fkin pest!
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Old 07 March 2019, 15:47   #5
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IMHO absolutely no advantage worth considering and plenty of disadvantage. I have 2 boats, one on each type of trailer, and the roller trailer is a fkin pest!


Im genuinely surprised at that. Care to elaborate? Yonks ago we had squidgy inflatable at the dive club on a carpet bunked trailer. Unless you could float it off, it was a 4 man job to get it off/on the trailer. I can launch & recover our RIB single handed on the roller trailer.
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Old 07 March 2019, 16:10   #6
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I’m genuinely surprised at that. Care to elaborate?
Yep, with the bunks I just reverse down the slip, no worries about loosing the boat because the winch pawl was left in the wrong position!, until the stern floats a little, climb aboard and reverse off. Recovery is the opposite, just drive on, the boat stays put because it's not on rolley rollers! Winch in the last half a meter or so. Job done.

Actually, I'm gonna put a couple of slightly bendy boards across the roller trailer to act as a friction brake so the boat doesn't relaunch itself while I'm jumping overboard to get hold of the winch strap...grrr bloody thing. I'm getting grumpy just thinking about it!

Oh the fun we've had watching folk at the slip attempting to recover on to rollers. One guy was with helpers, I loosley use the word helpers, he saw his boat slowly sliding back off the trailer and quickly beckoned his pals to shove the trailer back to keep it under the boat, which they did, pronto! But they forgot about the slip drop off - until the trailer disappeared. He had the trailer attached to his car by a rope so then the fun got better as they all took turns in burning up the car clutch! It's while since I've seen such smoke...
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Old 07 March 2019, 16:19   #7
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Ahh! Different strokes for different folks. We remove all the straps apart from the safety chain & winch rope. Reverse down the slip to the waters edge, remove the safety chain & lower the boat off using the winch brake. If its a shallow slip, she sometimes needs a push to get her moving. Recovery is just as easy, drive the boat upto the trailer until the bow engages in the rear rollers, leave the engine in gear on tickover & she aint going anywhere. Hook the (electric winch) on, press the button, take the weight, kill & tilt the engine & on she comes. Safety chain on, clear the slip & faff about in the car park.
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Old 07 March 2019, 17:05   #8
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Yep.

Rollers

Undo everything bar the quick release on 6 inches of chain.

Launch... Reverse into the water, trim and start engine slip into forward, lean over the bow and pull the latch release, into neutral and we roll off the trailer. ( a touch of reverse if needed.)

Recovery.. drive onto the trailer up to the bow snubber, leave the engine ticking over in forward, lean over the bow, latch onto the bow eye. Engine off, tilted and pull out.

If you struggle with this it's probably because you've got the boat set up too high on the trailer.
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Old 07 March 2019, 17:38   #9
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All good info. Keep it coming. The more the better. I am learning more and more with each comment, as well as helping me decide on whether to switch or not.
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Old 08 March 2019, 05:48   #10
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rollers best
reverse boat back till the tyres are wet on the car all straps are off except winch and safety chain, release boat holding bow line a slight push to get it going on the rollers if its steep i take a turn round the winch post to slow the boat down once floating walk to the boat pull down the boarding ladder climb aboard and moor up or anchor get the car and trailer away. return moor up get car and trailer on the slip tyers wet again winch rope out to about 3/4 of the trailer put somewhere easy to get drive the boat to the trailer bow to the roller carriage jump out winch rope on the boat keep rope tight until i get to the winch to prevent drift winch on, safety chain on check alignment before pulling the boat out all done on my own still can at 65 fat bloke not fit.

my SIB float off & on, bunks are at knee level ive recently fitted two wheels at the transom saver instead of a flat bunk that means i can now winch the boat back on if the water is too shallow, the wheels allow the boat to roll on keeping the keel inline there's another keel roller two thirds down the trailer to assist if the boat isn't hitting the side bunks once the boat is at the winch post it is resting on both side bunks, keel roller & the two wheels at the transom saver which are puncture proof and plastic.
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Old 08 March 2019, 08:24   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
... Recovery is just as easy, drive the boat upto the trailer until the bow engages in the rear rollers, leave the engine in gear on tickover.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Last Tango
...Recovery.. drive onto the trailer up to the bow snubber, leave the engine ticking over in forward, lean over the bow, latch onto the bow eye. Engine off, tilted and pull out...
So you both desert the helm with the engine running and in gear!
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Old 08 March 2019, 08:42   #12
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So you both desert the helm with the engine running and in gear!

If your trailer and boat's setup properly it's not going anywhere....if it's not then it should be.
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Old 08 March 2019, 09:25   #13
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So you both desert the helm with the engine running and in gear!


Nope, Im at the helm whilst the missus is hooking & winching. The point of the leccy winch was so that she could do the winch bit whilst I had the helm. Otherwise she had to hold the boat whilst I jumped out, hooked on & started winching, this could get lary at some of the launches we use in France if theres a swell coming into the harbour. The way we have it now is much easier & arguably safer as machines are replacing man(woman) power. Combined with the VanClaes gyro roller trailer, its now a doddle.
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Old 08 March 2019, 10:19   #14
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nowt wrong with in gear where's it gonna go unless it can jump over the winch post you could have a long kill cord if it bothered you
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Old 09 March 2019, 14:58   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstevens763@g View Post
my SIB float off & on, bunks are at knee level ive recently fitted two wheels at the transom saver instead of a flat bunk that means i can now winch the boat back on if the water is too shallow.
Do you have to disconnect from the car with flat bunks?

I'm fortunate that with roller bunks even on a slip with a slight gradient I don't have to get the rear tyres wet or unhitch to launch. Missus and dog are already in the boat although it would be fairly easy to do single handed. Great idea to have the tailgate up when reversing.
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Old 09 March 2019, 15:08   #16
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Not that simple various slips, beach launches etc my ref to tyres wet is as far as I go, water depth is what it is if it floats bang on if it don't I throw it off by spinning it or lift the trailer up in the air to give an incline I don't have any issues suppose I've done it for years and know all the tricks
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Old 09 March 2019, 15:13   #17
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Not that simple various slips, beach launches etc my ref to tyres wet is as far as I go, water depth is what it is if it floats bang on if it don't I throw it off by spinning it or lift the trailer up in the air to give an incline I don't have any issues suppose I've done it for years and know all the tricks
Sounds like a bit of humping is needed to get it on (no pun intended) as getting it off is the easy part.
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Old 09 March 2019, 15:26   #18
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No winch does the hard work must have a bit of Egyptian in me I don't struggle I find an easy option
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Old 09 March 2019, 17:35   #19
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I agree with the original poster, here in the stated launch ramps are pretty much all the same. And backing in will float off unless your setup is odd.
Like my last sib on trailer had tall trailer tires and the tubes above that. I pulled it with a 1985 320I BMW. It required a extension pole to ad 8' to the tongue.
Also if you go with wood and carpet you won't have to read all the posts on how to change the rusty split pins.

On another note- what is all that stuff you guys have to have on the back of your trailers? It looks like a christmas tree back there!

Here in the states you need two lights and a licence plate. And its better if at least one works. Unless its daytime, then they can both be burned out.
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Old 10 March 2019, 01:56   #20
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It looks like a christmas tree back there!



Here in the states you need two lights and a licence plate.
Where is your license plate on the last picture ?
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